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  • Writer's pictureSelena Frongillo

A BFF Breakup

best friends sitting on bench

Romantic breakups are devastating. No matter if you’re the one ending the relationship or if you’re the one getting dumped, it typically hurts like hell on both sides. When you spend any significant amount of time with a person, it’s bound to sting when, *poof* that person is gone. No more daily good morning texts, no more late night FaceTimes, no more date nights, no more contact—period. It’s a hard pill to swallow and in many cases, takes a stretch of time to recover.

But, what about friend breakups? While some may argue that their partner is their world and a romantic breakup plunges them into a dark hole (which may be true), for many women in particular, a friend breakup hits differently. And in some cases, much worse.

We show our most authentic, crazy, silly, vulnerable selves to our friends. They're who we get disheveled hungover breakfast with, who we binge-watch reality TV with, who we cry to when we fight with our family, with whom we share the most intimate emotional parts of ourselves. Whether they're there for a season or throughout our lives, our friends get a front row seat to it all.

There’s something about a friend breakup that breaks your heart like nothing else. While romantic partners may come and go, you expect your friends to be there through everything. They’re your unspoken but mutually agreed upon “‘til death do us part.” And boy does it hurt like hell when that silent promise breaks.

Like any relationship, there are countless reasons why friendships end, from simply growing apart, to the big blow-out fight that tanked it all. So what are some of the common reasons a friendship ends? Where do they fall on the scale of sad to heartbroken? Let’s get into it.

The Fading Friend

Many of us have felt the distance that comes with not being in the same stage of life as a friend—they’re still in their party phase, while we’ve moved on to morning yoga and book club. Or you’re starting a family, while your friend is going on her fourth hinge date of the week. There’s nothing wrong with growing in different directions (and sometimes, it still works for you both to maintain a solid friendship!). But sometimes the differences feel too stark and you struggle to find any mutual ground anymore. And so, you drift. And drift, and drift. This kind of unspoken breakup hits hard, but may feel necessary. You may cling to how things once were, how close you were at a point where life lined up for you two. It’s a difficult one to let go, and you often think of them with fond memories.

The Jealous Friend

As women, jealousy is unfortunately likely to play a role in some friendships. These tend to be somewhat toxic, and can start as early as elementary school. The jealousy can range from clothes, to school/work, to boys and everything in between. Whether you are the jealous friend or you have one, the relationship is bound to end—it’s only a matter of time. Once you start comparing yourself to your friends or vice versa, things can take a dark turn and fast. It usually plays out in passive aggression (or outright aggression), talking behind each other’s backs, and other toxic behavior. As we get older, we learn to have less and less of these friendships, as they’re extremely draining and harmful. This friendship is prone to constant fighting and once it finally ends, you probably won’t be crying too many tears when you realize the peace that comes with it.

The Blowout Friend

This is one of the worst. It’s likely with one of your closest friends, which raises the stakes that much higher. It’s someone you see often, you text regularly, you go to for advice, for a laugh, for a shoulder to cry on. But there’s usually one situation that occurs that leads to the blowout—this could range everywhere from revealing a secret, to flirting with your (or their) partner. Feelings are crushed, and there’s no turning back. This is the one that’s heartbreak status. When you look back on your friendship, you miss the good times, but can’t shake the one thing that broke you apart. You think about them often and for a split second still think to call them when you get good news or need advice. It’s a friendship you’ll always cherish regardless of the ending.

While there are many more different kinds of friendship breakups, these are all ones that I’ve experienced in my own life, and I know many other women have as well. Regardless of the type, a friendship breakup can take years to mourn, as the platonic bond formed is so drastically different from that of romantic relationships. We see our friends as extensions of ourselves, so it’s almost as if a part of us dies with the friendship.

For anyone going through a friend breakup, I send you love and healing, and remember that you will always find the right people for you at the exact right time. And the ones that tag along for the ride make the journey even sweeter.

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